The first rule of censorship is that you are not allowed to talk about censorship

WOW!!

This sounds like a bad movie!

(Not that ‘Fight Club’ was a bad movie – just that a ‘Government enforced’ version of ‘Fight Club existence’ would be a very, very bad movie!!!)

This is beyond comprehensible!

OK… I’ll slow down enough to fill you in on what I’m talking about.

Imagine a dystopia where the government has a ‘black list’ of things you are not allowed to do and not allowed to talk about.  Or, perhaps, a list of websites you are not allowed to click on.  They are still visible, you are just not allowed to click on them.  IF you breach this strict prohibition, you will be hunted down and punished, with the full weight of the state hurled at you to crush you.

Pretty bad, right?  Where would you say this is taking place?

Well, on the surface of it, you might suggest places like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and, perhaps, Pakistan.  Yet, I speak of a different place…

Perhaps more clues are needed in order for you to recognize the country I speak of:  would it be helpful if I told you that there, this ‘black list’ is actually secret?

Yes, you read this correctly:  nobody KNOWS they have broken the rules until AFTER they have broken the rules!

Do you not believe such a thing could happen today???

Well, you would be wrong.

Not only does it happen in our world, it is happening as we are having our virtual conversation:  and it is happening in a ‘Western Democracy’!!!

The ‘black list’?

Is it some ‘democracy-in-name-only, a country stiffeled under the yoke of the EU oppression?  As in the manner of ‘Prison?  Then is the world one…in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o’th’worst!’

I’m sorry to disappoint you – I am not speaking of a EU nation-state.

I speak of no other place than Australia!!!

Yes, Australia!!!

The Sydney Morning Herald from 17. March 2009 reports:

‘The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks.

Wikileaks was added to the blacklist for publishing a leaked document containing Denmark’s list of banned websites.’

Aside:  Just in case you happened to be in Denmark, or wanted to travel there, and did NOT want to run afoul of the local laws by accidentally clicking on one of the thousands of websites banned in Denmark, the ‘Wikileaks’ page listing them is here.

But, please, consider the implications of this action!!!

  1. A number (a very big number) of websites get banned – people get fined for accessing them, and their internet providers are legally obligated to monitor their subscribers’ activity online and notify the government (and provide them with the necessary documentation, to be used in court) if ANY one of their subscribers accesses one of these sites.
  2. An internet website publishes this list of banned websites:  after all, people ought to KNOW where they are not allowed to click – right???
  3. The internet pages actually providing this public notice are themselves banned – for the very reason that they ARE informing people WHAT is and is not legal!!!

In other words, our governments are wrapping themselves in the cloak of righteous indignation over the ‘problem of internet pedophilia’ and banning websites, left, right and centre (though, mostly right of centre)…NOT just sites that (horrid and reprehensible as they are) abuse kids.  And, to make sure that nobody notices EXACTLY WHAT it is they are banning, they will ALSO ban any pages which actually tell people what it is that is banned!!!

So, the first time you will find out that a site is ‘blacklisted’ is when you loose your internet service and get dragged to court for having ‘clicked on something’!!!

And, if you think that only websites that contain ‘child pornography’ (or whatever euphemism you want to use for this horrible, horrible abuse of kids) are being put onto these ‘blacklists’, please, think again (my emphasis):

‘The site has also published Thailand’s internet censorship list and noted that, in both the Thai and Danish cases, the scope of the blacklist had been rapidly expanded from child porn to other material including political discussions.

Already, a significant portion of the 1370-site Australian blacklist – 506 sites – would be classified R18+ and X18+, which are legal to view but would be blocked for everyone under the proposal. The Government has said it was considering expanding the blacklist to 10,000 sites and beyond.’

To infinity 10,000 sites – and beyond!!!

EFA said the Government’s “spin is starting to wear thin” and it could no longer be denied that the ACMA blacklist targets a huge range of material that is legal and even uncontroversial.’

And, yes, Australia’s ‘blacklist’ of banned websites is also very, very secret.  As a matter of fact, the article suggests that it was the fear that the Aussie list would also ‘get published’ which prompted the Australian government to ban (block access to) sites which list the Danish ‘blacklist’.

Is THIS what our democracies, the only defenders of the individual’s inherent rights to make his or her own choices, have been reduced to?!?!?  If so, then I want a ticket out of here!

(Sorry, I get really, really worked up over this stuff – this is NOT just some hypothetical thing, this is a REAL THREAT to our freedoms!  Now, let’s get some of you people ‘out there’ – who have the right background to make this technically possible – to start working on a censorship-proof subnet… which will, eventually, replace the now so obviously dying internet‘!)

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